What You Should Know About The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winners

The winners of The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Rio Uribe, Jonathan Simkhai and Aurora James posing for a...

This week, the CFDA and Vogue awarded their annual Fashion Fund to Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Jonathan Simkhai and Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport to grow their brands and revolutionize the industry. This once-in-a-lifetime prize consists of $300,000 for each designer, as well as a year-long mentorship. It also almost always guarantees that you will hear about their talent—and see it in stores—for a long time thereafter. So what do you need to know about these three designers? Here are 5 facts about each that we consider all-important.


The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners


Aurora James of Brother Vellies

James grew up admiring her mother’s wardrobe, and her first job in the fashion industry was as a 15-year-old intern at Next Models in Toronto. She founded Brother Vellies in 2013 “with the goal of preserving the shoemaking craft in Africa." The 31-year-old Brooklyn resident works from home and just opened her first store in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport.


Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai, 30, first worked in the fashion industry at the age of 14 as a buyer and merchandiser for a boutique in Scarsdale, New York. He went on to attend Parsons and FIT, launched his label in 2010 and has since become a nominee for the International Woolmark Prize and a member of the inaugural CFDA {Fashion Incubator} class.


Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport

The LA-bred Uribe staged his first fashion show at New York Fashion Week for Spring 2016, thanks to a personal call to IMG by Anna Wintour. He describes his brand as genderless, global and active. He has collaborated with DKNY and Opening Ceremony, and his designs can be seen in the final installment of The Hunger Games.